Local kids share stories of losing loved ones as Family & Youth Counseling Agency hosts "Good Mourning Gang" day camp

Local kids share stories of losing loved ones as Family & Youth Counseling Agency hosts "Good Mourning Gang" day camp


The Shannon Cox Counseling Center’s “Good Mourning Gang” in Lake Charles held a day camp at Stables of LeBocage to help children who’ve lost a loved one with coping and mourning skills.

Over 20 local children participated in activities such as special team building arts and crafts, horseback riding and yoga.

“Grief will never go away,” said Sara McDonald. “It's not like a cold or anything else and it just disappears. What we're doing and what we hope to do is to teach the children to have some lifelong great coping skills that are healthy for them.”

McDonald says day camps can help the children interact with each other and allows an opportunity for them to share their stories about losing their loved ones. She says though it takes a little time for them to open up, their stories help others understand their loss.

“They told me my dad died and I just felt horrible,” said 11-year-old Gabby Breaux of Lake Charles, who lost her dad to cancer.

7-year-old Ethan Burnett lost his dad and uncle and participated in the event alongside his brother, Jace. He says he’ll never forget the day he found out he lost his dad.

“I didn’t even know what was going on,” said Burnett. “As soon as I saw the cops and ambulance come up, my mom sent me in the room and I said, “What in the world is going on?” because I didn’t know.

11-year-old Abby Hinton of Lake Charles lost her mom to health problems during her sleep and was there to witness it.

“She didn’t get up,” said Hinton. “I put my ear in her mouth and there was no air coming out and I just hugged her and called 911.”

Teenagers who’ve also lost a loved one volunteered at the camp and say helping the younger kids work through their grief is therapeutic.

“It made me realize how they’re coping with it,” said Laura Frapp, who lost her long-time best friend to cancer. “You can see how some of the little kids take it really hard.”

Approximately 34 kids participated in the last day camp held in Apirl and the Good Mourning Gang says they plan on continuing the day camps for the remainder of the year.

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